“This boat is a perfect size for single-handed sailing. The large cockpit is comfortable and is ideal for entertaining.

Corona, Island Packet 35′

Interview with the Captain — Peter Dempsey

About the Boat 

Why did you choose to buy an Island Packet?
Island Packets are known for their seaworthiness and comfort. With the full keel, you trade some speed and performance for stability. The finish work is outstanding, and the interior design makes cruising pleasurable.

What other kinds of boats did you consider before buying this particular model (and how did they compare)?
I focused on the Island Packet line, and the 350 is the perfect size for both day sailing and cruising.

How did you come to find/locate her before purchasing (and what’s the boat’s history if you know it)?
I used YachtWorld and looked at boats in Virginia and San Diego before locating one in Mattapoisett, MA. The previous owner kept her in immaculate shape, and the boat was well-equipped.

What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
During the pre-purchase survey, I learned that the aluminum water tank had a leak. As a result, I had that tank and the holding tank replaced after our first summer of ownership. This necessitated removing the entire cabin sole. The work was done by Ace at Marblehead Trading, and the finished product looked like it came from the factory.

Last year, I rewired and replaced all of the electronics over the winter, which was a challenging project. I was pleasantly surprised to see that all of the electronics worked after the boat was launched last summer.

This year, I removed the Hoyt boom, freeing up more space on the foredeck. I am considering removing the staysail as well, turning the cutter into a sloop.

What are the features you like most about your boat?
This boat is a perfect size for single-handed sailing. The large cockpit is comfortable and is ideal for entertaining.

Who first introduced you to boating/sailing?
I have been sailing in the Marblehead waters since I was a small child, starting with a Cape Dory 10. My family had a Cal 2-30 and a Tartan 34 when I was growing up.

Do you belong to a yacht club or other boating/sailing organizations?
I belong to the Dolphin Yacht Club in Marblehead, and am also a member of the Blue Water Sailing Club, a virtual yacht club with members from all over New England. 

What boats have you previously owned?
Before purchasing the Island Packet, I owned a Sabre 32 for 7 years. 

How do you typically use your boat over the summer, and where do you go?
I use the boat mostly for weekend sailing and occasional short cruises.

What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
The raw water impeller is virtually impossible to access and the teak, although a beautiful accent to the boat, is challenging to maintain to keep it looking nice. Otherwise, the boat is very easy to maintain.

Do you have any notable boating resources you use?
Island Packet Yacht Owners Association is a treasure trove of information. Practical Sailor is another great resource.

Do you have any advice for those looking to buy a Island Packet like yours?
Be sure to check the aluminum water tank during the survey. Additionally, in Island Packets that were built before 1997, there could be an issue with chainplate corrosion.

What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
“Corona” has many different meanings. It is a part of the brain anatomy, it is an astronomical term pertaining to the sun, and I enjoy the beverage of the same name. It should be noted that the boat was named well before the pandemic. During the summer of 2020, many comments were heard as people passed by the transom.

Click the gallery below for more photos and information about Corona!